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For the Children

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BY HELEN HERNANE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIEL SORIANO

As an expectant mother, Congresswoman Cha Hernandez is focused on making
sustainable, long-term improvements for the city—progress that would benefit
current and future generations.

   At eight months pregnant, Congresswoman
Charisse Anne “Cha” Hernandez-Alcantara
of Calamba, Laguna understands that many
expect her to rest and not strain herself too much
with work. Hernandez also admits that she finds
it somewhat difficult to juggle public service and
carrying a child, especially during the third trimester.
But she fervently believes that every child, including
hers, is a blessing and also, a lucky charm, as many
people have often told her.

     “During my campaign, I would go around every
day and meet people face to face from morning to
night,” she recalls. “And I think [me being pregnant]
solidified my message that I am just like them. My
situation reflects most women’s lives; I’m not the first
woman working at eight months pregnant.”

     Not even a month after the elections, Hernandez is already out and about, connecting with one sector after another. LEAGUE trailed after the newly-elected congresswoman who spent the entire morning listening to farmers, who launched a seminar, and the fisherfolk, who held a boodle fight with her for lunch. Her arrival and presence in each meeting lacked the pomp and circumstance often associated with political bigwigs. On the contrary, her simple outfit, visible baby bump, and calm, caring voice (with a forceful undertone) made her appear less of a politician and more of an ordinary Filipino mother.

CALAMBA’S FUTURE
Pregnancy, the congresswoman shares, also gives her a different sense of focus that helps push her forward
in striving for a better City of Calamba. Her internal motivation is to create a clean, thriving city for her son and for others of his generation to inherit.

     “Also, I want my children to be proud of me, that someday they could say that I did my best and worked hard even while pregnant. I want them to be proud of the city we helped build when they grow up, to have people tell my children that I did my best as a public servant. I think that’s one good motivation for me,” the neophyte congresswoman reveals.

     Hernandez, however, also had big plans for Calamba even prior to her winning the seat in Congress. As a councilor, her vision was mostly fixing the major issues that the city faced—traffic, environment, waste management, and more. While her current position enables her to improve the city....